Should Diabetics Avoid or Seek Fruit?

Advanced Mediterranean Diet, paleo diet, paleobetic diet

Grapes probably destined for wine

Newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics have no need to avoid fruit …according to an article in Nutrition Journal.  Fruit is a prominent component of the Mediterranean and paleo diets.  It can be good for us, containing phytonutrients, fiber, etc.  But fruit has the potential to increase blood sugars, too, which may be harmful over the long run.  So whadda you do?

Researchers took newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics and split them into two groups. One group was told to eat at least two pieces of fruit daily, the other was told to eat no more than two pieces.

The researchers conclusions:

A recommendation to reduce fruit intake as part of standard medical nutrition therapy in overweight patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes resulted in eating less fruit. It had however no effect on HbA1c, weight loss or waist circumference. We recommend that the intake of fruit should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Read the full research report.

PS: I haven’t read the full report yet.

Steve Parker, M.D.


Filed under Fruits, Mediterranean Diet, Paleo diet

7 responses to “Should Diabetics Avoid or Seek Fruit?

  1. I always enjoy reading your posts. I have T2 and eschew fruit almost completely, consistent with Bernstein’s recommendations. I do try to read these types of studies and have read this one, but as with many studies of “nutrition science,” I find that it is “bad science.” The authors measured a small difference in A1c, but the difference was not significant, having a p value of 0.37 (a 37% chance the result was simply a random occurrence). Moreover, when adjusted for oral drug use, the difference had a p value of 0.8 suggesting that the study most likely just showed that oral drugs improve A1c. In my little twisted part of the world, a p value < 0.5 is needed to establish any real evidence, but this didn't stop the authors from leaping to the conclusion that eating fruit has no impact on blood sugars control.

    Until I see some better evidence, it is only small amounts of berries for me.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Actually, I meant that a p value of < 0.05 (5% chance of the result randomly occurring) is needed to suggest real evidence. Thanks.

      • Brian, thanks for the comments. Comparing type 1 to type 2 diabetics, I’ve noticed much more variability in tolerance to fruits in the type 2’s. “Tolerance” meaning effect on blood sugar. Some individual variables are degree of insulin resistance and degree of residual beta cell function, to name just a couple.

  2. Jim Jozwiak

    Ask these fruit advocates about having a nice avocado a couple of times a day and they will
    will suddenly go stingy on the fruit…

  3. Jan

    My husband a Type 2 diabetic, and I a non diabetic but both living the low carb high fat lifestyle, include a small amount of berries in our weekly diet e.g. blue berries and raspberries. His blood sugar numbers remain excellent and I enjoy them as part of a good balanced meal plan.

    All the best Jan

  4. Pingback: European Guidelines and Low Carbohydrate Diets for Diabetes | Marcus' s Space